narrated by: Jared
With Delaney working second shift, it’s just me and Lizzie most of the time. She’s used to be an only child, at home that is.
She plays well by herself, and picks up too. I don’t really have to hark on her much, which I appreciate. I feel past the age to be doing all this childhood stuff, and feel badly that she got stuck with an old dud like me sometimes.
We do have our routine down though, and she doesn’t fuss about me being unable to do some of the things that the younger, and more spry parents are doing with their kids.
She’s more of an old soul herself, I don’t know if it’s because me and Delaney are, or if it was just how she would always be. But she is much calmer than Meg or Lauren were at this stage, and I’m hopeful that teenage years won’t be horribly trying. That birthday is just around the corner, and there are some perks to it, like not needing a babysitter, I do think I’ll miss her childhood wonder though.
Everything is much easier with her. Lauren stopped by one night before Delaney got off work, and sobbed about how she didn’t have any money. Allegedly she is set to graduate in the spring, but with her Mom cutting off her funds, she can’t afford to be there.
She’s finding the whole marriage thing to be less blissful than she imagined. If Delaney were here, she’d definitely spout out a hearty, ‘I told you so.’ Thank goodness for small favors that she wasn’t. It’s no wonder those two butt heads at every passing. I tried to give Lauren some sound advice, without being too parental that she stopped listening.
I can’t always bail her out, but her college education is the most important thing for her to finish right now. I can’t imagine that her marriage will last, but her degree will. I gave her the money, with the only stipulation that she doesn’t tell her Mother.
Over the weekend, Isaac’s parents invited us over for some tea and grilling. Lauren spent most of the time making out with sweaty Isaac between shooting hoops.
I’m relieved that they still seem to like one another. Though I wasn’t very happy with the afternoon, I got stuck playing chess with the youngest Gavigan, Ezra, who very much cheats at chess.
I didn’t reprimand him; our daughter just joined this family and I don’t want to cause ripples. But I wasn’t pleased with the way they were raising their son. Delaney got stuck at the table, listening to Mary talk about how great of a Mother she was, and how she would never consider working as much as Delaney does. Apparently it is a detriment to our children, and poor Lizzie, she kept saying, and clicking her tongue.
Delaney was on her best behavior, but really was not very impressed with the Gavigans. Admittedly, we already held a judgement against them, all the rumors of Isaac fathering the Millett boy, which we believe wholeheartedly to be true.
When Nathan grilled up hot dogs to serve, that was when Delaney gave an excuse for us to leave. She rattled on the way home that she hadn’t eaten a hot dog in fifty years, and was not about to start now. Being a chef, she’s rather uppity about her food, but can usually pick around it if she’s feeling charitable.
The worst part for Delaney is that Lauren has a mother-in-law, who keeps giving her ‘wisdom’ to our very impulsive daughter. We would prefer that she kept her ideas to herself, as Lauren can take even the best advice and turn it into a disaster.
To add to it, Mary is prodding when they might have a grandbaby. She’s known for wanting a daughter, but having only her three sons. She seems to believe that Lauren is her ticket to a baby girl, and is beyond the scope of reason. What right Mother would want her son who has flunked university three times, to get pregnant during his final semester?
None; that is the correct answer. I hope that we aren’t expected to do holidays with these people.
On a brighter note, Elise has requested Delaney’s help in finding their first house.
They want two to three kids, and Elise is hoping to buy once, and make it work for many years. Which isn’t too easy to do in downtown South Port, unless looking at apartments. There just isn’t the space she desires for their price range.
They did find one in the Lincoln Park neighborhood that was spacious enough, and affordable, but only because it had been gutted. It didn’t even have a single kitchen counter.
Delaney is trying to sell it that they can make it how they want, instead of making do with someone else’s ideals. But the renovations would likely pop it out of their price range.
Elise tried convincing Peter that they might never have to move again, and that it would be worth a tight budget momentarily, to have a real home. Delaney excused herself to start looking up prices of comparable homes, ones that came with kitchens, and the costs of installing kitchen cupboards and appliances.
Peter said he’d consider after a promotion, and since it’s been on the market for a significant period of time, he isn’t concerned that it will get swooped up before then.
I expect as soon as the sold sign goes up, that we will be hearing news of our first grandchild. I’m just really hoping that Mary doesn’t convince Lauren to have a baby, not until she’s seriously settled at the very minimum.
Lizzie is not impressed with the idea of a niece or nephew though, she is rather attached to her big siblings, and being the littlest. They spoil her quite a bit when they come around, even Lauren takes time to interact with her if she’s in good spirits, and a new baby would change all that.
Notes: Delaney and Jared did not care for Mary and Nathan Gavigan, but not many people in Millwood don’t. When Nathan only knew how to grill hot dogs, I just knew that Delaney would get out of dodge. But I imagine Mary wanting a grandchild would really get Delaney fuming!
Jared had to give Lauren money, they had less than $100 and a load of debt with their house rental. Failing a semester didn’t help ether. But Lauren is finally on track to graduate this spring, while Isaac needs one more cooking skill point to even have a chance, and he rolls nothing for it.
I believe that Peter and Elise will move into the house with the dark green walls, it has two bedrooms and a third floor loft/master bed. Plenty of space for people that only want 2-3 kids, and they both have the want, so I’d like to get them settled soon.
Lizzie turns 10 this year, she won’t be a teen until fall 2026, so still a bit more time for her. Her parents will be working for many years, they just don’t have any spare money at all. Considering that Delaney is top chef in her field since Meg was a young teen, it’s just crazy. But they lived in a house that was beyond their means for too long, and paying all of their kids college education has wiped their funds.
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